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It's love at first sight for John (Tatum) who meets college student Savannah (Seyfried) whilst he's on leave from the army. After only meeting a few times the two young lovers are torn apart when John has to re-enlist and fulfil his duty back in the army. The lovers are young and their separation is long. They are both bound together by hope, but can they survive the distance? Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried star in the ultimate summer romance, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, best-selling author of The Notebook.
Actors in the Film
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The main characters in the film are John (Channing Tatum) and Savannah (Amanda Seyfried). We do meet some other characters in the film which are John's father Savannah's family and friends and a few other characters. These only appear in a few scenes throughout the film though so I haven't actually looked up to see who plays their characters.
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At the beginning of the film we can see that there's an instant bond between John and Savannah after John dives into the sea to rescue Savannah's bag that she has dropped into the water. Savannah thanks John by asking him to go to a party she is going to. Here they get to know about each other and seem to connect straight away. The more time they spend together and get to know each other the more in love they fall with each other. Savannah starts to worry about them leaving each other when she has to go back to college and he has to go back to the Army. Savannah hits a sore spot with John when she suggests that his father may have autism and John ends up getting into a fight with some of Savannah's male friends. Savannah goes to see John and they make up. After spending 2 weeks together and falling in love they now have to leave each other for 1 whole year whilst they get on with other parts of their lives. I don't want to give too much away but through the rest of the film we see both John and Savannah writing letters to each other and seeing them get on with their lives without each other. Savannah bonds with John's dad whilst he's away and we learn the bond between John and his father or the lack of. The rest of the film focuses on John whilst he's in the army after he gets some bad news from Savannah. I'm not going to reveal anything else about the film as I don't want to ruin it for other people who haven't seen it.
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There is some music in the film where hear Savannah sing and play the guitar. The music is quite slow and has a very strong romantic feel to it. There are a few more songs throughout the film which are very light, gentle and romantic which goes with the feel of the film.
Where to buy the DVD
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I purchased the DVD from Amazon for £4.77 which is for a standard DVD and not for a Blu-Ray.
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The DVD includes the following special features:
Deleted & Alternate Scenes
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The film is very romantic right from the beginning as we see the two characters fall in love with each other and sending letters to each other when they are apart from each other. The actors in the film play their parts very well and they have interesting backgrounds to their characters. If you like romantic films then this one is definitely for you. I wouldn't say this was necessarily a chick flick as I think some guys may like this film too. The film had me gripped all the way through with John & Savannah's love story and seeing John do his job in the army. There were a few special effects in the film whilst watching John do his army duties with explosions and other things going on. I think the film has a really good story line to it and I really enjoyed watching it. The film did bring a tear or two to my eyes when watching it as some scenes were quite emotional and tear jerking. I really enjoyed this film and didn't dislike any part of it. I recommend the film to others and also recommend watching it with your partner or other half as it's a great film to cuddle up to. The film didn't end as how I expected and I was a little disappointed with the ending but it's worth watching at least once.
(review also on ciao)
Dear John is about John a soldier of the special forces who meets his soul mate, Savannah during his leave in between Iraq/Afghanistan. During that time they realized they were truly in love and decided to peruse this relationship despite it's difficulties. Writing to one another whenever they could, but when John's loyalty led him to re-enlisting; he forced to choose between; Savannah or the his Military Unit.
They did a great job acting making the whole thing believable if not too heart touching at times what's better is this is a realistic situation that may occur to any US Citizen for as it may be known many of our men are out in service as of right now. Channing Tatum the actor that played John fell into his role of the tough, ridged soldier while Seyfried (Amanda) played the perfect female neighbor. John's father also played an influential role of dictating his loyalties.
The sceneries in this film is quite an breathe taking effect. Lasse Hallestrom (director) was a genius using the natural scenery of South Carolinian beach evenings providing viewers with a awed flawless effect. Above all of this he also used some fabulous musical recordings from great musicians. Notably few was Paperweight by Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk. Personally this two factors sight and sound made the movie quite worthwhile if not sight changing.
In the end, while simply watching this film will not change your life it'll definately change your out look on the topic of love. The film is amazing and does have quite a few tearful heart touching moments. I do recommend this film to anyone with a loved one to curl up and cuddle. If you don't then that's even more of a reason as to why you should view it! All in all I give this movie a four, why not five? Well it has everything but originality alas that's the cost of being too realistic.
I have not long finished watching this movie and unlike some of the other reviews I would definately recommend it.
This film is based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks (who also wrote the Notebook) and was released in August of 2010. I had heard a few reviews about it and decided to give it a go. I love romantic films and stories so thought this would be to my taste, even though I'm not so keen on the military part, this film was more on the romantic side with not much reference to his career.
The plot is based on a man named John (Channing Tatum) is on leave from the Army when he meets a college student, Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) after she drops her bag into the sea and he retrieves it for her. After a magical 2 weeks together, she heads back to school whilst he returns to the Army. They keep in contact through letters when one day after a few months of silence John receives a letter from Savannah detailing that she had met someone else and was engaged to be married.
After being shot John is sent home, where he learns his father has had a stroke and eventually dies. At this point he goes to see the woman he still loves intensley. He finds out she has married Tim the man next door who has an autistic son. He learns that Tim has cancer and makes his peace with him. Once back in the Army he receives an unexpected letter from Savannah telling him of the unfortunate death of her husband. At this point it seems that the movie ending is a little strange, all of a sudden they run into one another at the coffee shop however you don't know whether they get together or remain friends.
I have to say my only criticism is that the ending is a bit sketchy so you are unsure of what really happens. It is a sad movie, I cried my eyes out! I would definately recommend this film for a night in front the TV and snuggling up either by yourself, a friend or a partner.
Channing Tatum was a bit of a revelation when he appeared in Step Up, the first and best of the dance based film series. Since then, he has persevered with his acting career, using his physical abilities to improve the roles he has been given. Dear John, though, takes a bit of a different tact, as although he plays a soldier, there's no real action involved in the film. It's a romantic drama, and he takes the male lead.
As John Tyree, a soldier who finds himself on a tour of Iraq, he finds love one Spring Break when he meets college student Savannah. The two part company when John has to go back on tour, but the two of them exchange letters, sure of their feelings for each other and certain of how they want their future to be mapped out. But a war and distance can have a lot of impact on a person........
There isn't really anything else to the plot of the film. It centres around the relationship of the two main characters, and therefore needs them to be strong enough to carry the whole story. Luckily, there is help on hand, with a riveting performance from Richard Jenkins as John's dad and Henry Thomas as Tim Wheddon, a man who has seen Savannah grow up, almost as a sister. The supporting cast in general is actually very solid, although nothing special really jumps out at you. Opposite Tatum in the female lead role of Savannah is Amanda Seyfried, and she balances his performance rather well. The two of them are very believable, and this is perhaps what makes the film itself rather endearing and romantic.
You really do get a feel for the emotion that the two leads emit, and this is helped in part by the direction of Lasse Hallstrom, who has such films as What's Eating Gilbert Grape and Chocolat under his belt and therefore understands the element of drama very well. The timing he has behind the camera, and the way he uses music in combination with some of the scenes also makes the point of the film drive home. Everything is very solid and very safe.
However, this does also mean that there's nothing particularly brave about it either. The ultimate notion I had upon finishing the film was one of a consistent level of safety and soft filming. There was no real drive or power behind the film, and although it was enjoyable to watch and indeed one I would happily recommend, I felt it needed something extra, a bit of get up and go. The scenes featuring John while out at war were some of the more powerful ones, as they raised the bar and heightened the tension a bit, and I suppose this is what was lacking in the rest of the film. Everything flowed nicely, events rolling into one another, and as the conclusion came along, you felt as if something a bit more powerful was about to happen.........but it doesn't. There's the same old reliable soft and slow pace.
I suppose many will actually like this about the film, believing it to be the best way to have it told. I cane asily imagine others would get bored of this. It ultimately depends on how you like your romantic dramas to be presented. There are some nice moments and also some entertaining ones, and I also found that it was easy to just watch it and let it flow over you, but the best I can say is that this passes the time in a pleasant and enjoyable way. Nothing more, nothing less. I quite liked it, but it could have done with a little more get up and go.
== Dear John ==
In 2001, John (Channing Tatum) is on leave from the Army Special Forces when he meets a girl called Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), a college student on spring break. Within a few days of hanging out and getting to know each other, John and Savannah fall in love. John meets Savannah's family at a gathering as well as her neighbor, Tim Wheddon (Henry Thomas) and Tim's autistic son, Alan (Braeden Reed), who looks up to Savannah as a sister figure maybe even a mother figure.
Savannah one day meets and becomes rather close with John's father (Richard Jenkins), who is for some reason always a bitter old man who collects all kinds of coins and the only thing him and John have in common is the coins from when John was at a young age. John told Savannah that his father has always been really interested in coins and has not been much of a father to him through his life because he became obsessed with them. Savannah mentions to John that his father, like Alan, may have autism. This upsets John and he kicks off, he believes Savannah is calling his father retarded. John gets really angry with this and he gets into a fight with Savannah's neighbor, Randy (Scott Porter) who actually has feelings for Savannah as well, plus John also accidentally punches Tim in the process.
John goes to visit Savannah the next day to apologize but she's not home and he then sees Tim and apologizes to him for how he reacted and he then leaves Savannah a note asking for her forgiveness before his leave from the Army comes to an end. Savannah gets the note and they spend one last night together. John reluctantly returns to the Army and him and Savannah try to begin a long-distance relationship through handwritten letters to each other. John believes this year will be his final year of enlistment but, following the September 11 attacks, he is torn between returning home and spending his life with the one he loves and his sense of duty. Can the pair make this work? or is it destined to fail?
=== Did You Enjoy It? ===
I have seen many mixed review on this movie and most are bad, but I actually will say this is a fantastic film. Its a very moving movie and does have its sad parts. I really enjoyed it because it does kind of remind me of my best friend who is in the Army and hes so brave. These movies deserve more credit than they get and in this one I have to say Channing Tatum gives a fine display. When I first laid eyes on the cast line up I was actually dreading watching this but it surprised me how enjoyable it was. I enjoyed this more because it kept me guessing at what was going to happen next and always left me on the edge of mt seat. The general story of the movie is absolutely brilliant in my opinion and has to be one of the most enjoyable story lines I have ever seen. Surprisingly enough there were a lot of points that made this movie enjoyable some were, the acting was pretty damn good, obviously the story was fantastic and some of the special effects, from when John was over fighting for his country, they were simply brilliant and looked real life like. I just actually really enjoyed this movie and I think if more people gave this the time of day they would enjoy it as well.
=== Characters/Performances ===
The cast was quite a surprise to me and I was even more surprised at how well Channing Tatum does. I actually labelled him as a rubbish actor and just a pretty face in my 'Fighting' review but after this one I have changed my mind, he is actual quite good in this film as the lead role. Maybe this type of role suits him better than any other. Also another surprise for me was Amanda Seyfried who plays Savannah in Dear John is pretty great as well. She is a young and talented actress and to be honest I watched Mamma Mia with her in and thought she was a mediocre actress but in this she takes that thought right away. Now there is one actor I think is brilliant in any role he plays and that would be Richard Jenkins who plays as John's dad. He is a great actor and possibly one of my favourite older actors. He was fantastic in Step Brothers and he is fantastic in this movie as well. Anyways bellow is a list of the actors/actresses and the roles they play in the movie as some people ask for who is in them.
*Channing Tatum as John Tyree (Lead Role).
*Amanda Seyfried as Savannah Lynn Curtis (Supporting Role).
*Richard Jenkins as Mr. Tyree, John's father.
*Henry Thomas as Tim Wheddon, Savannah's next door neighbour.
*Scott Porter as Randy Welch the guy who also likes Savannah.
There are a fair few more people in this movie but this is the best of them and the actors/actresses that made the movie more enjoyable and more brilliant.
=== The Director ===
Now the director of Dear John is a guy named Lasse Hallström and he was born June 2nd, 1946 in Stockholm, Sweden. He has directed many films, most of which were only released in his home country of Sweden but the ones he has made for release here and the US are films such as, Hachi A Dogs Tale, The Hoax, Casanova, An Unfinished Life and The Shipping News. But Dear John is his most successful piece of work.
=== Soundtrack ===
This is possibly the part that I believe maybe let the movie down in some way. The soundtrack isn't really anything special and the songs that were involved in this movie just didn't seem to kick in well with the scenes they was used in. However don't get me wrong some of the songs are great songs but they didn't seem to feel right in the scenes they was in. If you watch the movie you might find your opinion to be different but the soundtrack didn't impress me at all. Anyways below is a short list of the songs in the movie and some of you guys might actually like it but I didn't not too much anyway.
*Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk - "Paperweight"
*The Swell Season - "The Moon"
*311 - "Amber"
*The Donkeys - "Excelsior Lady"
*Wailing Souls - "Things & Time"
*Amanda Seyfried and Marshall Altman - "Little House"
*Fink - "This Is the Thing"
*Rosi Golan - "Think of Me"
*Rachel Yamagata and Dan Wilson - "You Take My Troubles Away"
*Deborah Lurie - Dear John Theme
*Snow Patrol ft. Martha Wainwright - "Set the Fire to the Third Bar"
*Amanda Seyfried - "Little House"
*Brian Tichy - "Dead in Your Tracks"
*Ryan Adams - "Answering Bell"
*Ozomatli - "Saturday Night"
*Brad Hatfield - "Ballroom Ballad"
*Gaye Tolan Hatfield - "Let Her Gift Be Me"
*The Donkeys - "Excelsior Lady"
Now ypu guys can tell me what you think of the soundtrack and if you think its dodgy like me. it wasn't great but its not the worst list of songs to a movie I have seen.
=== How Does It Compare To Similar Movies? ===
There are quite a few similar movies to Dear John here is a few, The Notebook, The Last Song, A Walk To Remember, Atonement and Seven Pounds but none of these compare or even come close to being as good as Dear John in my opinion. They are some great movies in that list but Dear John has everything I could ask for. Most of them movies don't have a great storyline but Dear John does, most are not taken seriously Dear John is and its the more realistic movie out of all them and I believe the more enjoyable, sad and emotional movie too, just not sure if thats a good thing yet.
=== Other Bits ===
The special effects are pretty good when they are used in Dear John, although there aren't loads and loads of them they do actually make an impact. Most of them come into play when John (Channing Tatum) is fighting in the Army, with some good shooting scenes and some explosion scenes looking almost real. Dear John is by far one of the best and most realistic movies I have ever seen and it does kind of show how some relationships are based like and what some people maybe going through. I adore movies like this, they remind me of one of my best friends whose in the Army and his girlfriend misses him its kind of identical maybe this is why I love movies like this I really don't know. It has some funny moments so its not all serious, it has some perfect moments that feel like will never happen to us and it has the moments that will make some people cry or feel down. All in all a great movie and I would give it a solid 8/10! The runtime for this movie is roughly 108 minutes and it is Rated PG-13 for some sensuality and violence.
Thanks for reading my review guys :)
Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987
This film tells the story of a tough, well built soldier (John) who meets an innocent, sweet and rather niaeve girl (Savannah) on the beach in South Carolina, America.
Despite having opposite personalities and very different lives, their attraction to one another is instant and gradually begin to fall in love with one another. After two weeks of their time together, John must return to service in Iraq/Afghanistan. However, they agree to maintain contact through writing letters, allowing them to express their true feelings for one another and sustain a sense of closeness.
After a while, 9/11 occurs and everything begins to change after he re-enlists for two more years service in the military. This is very challenging for Savannah, as she has built up her hopes of John returning and building a life with him.
The film ending is different to the book, which I was slightly disappointed with.
In conclusion, this is is a very enjoyable, romantic film that most girls will enjoy. Further, it doesn't really require much thought to watch. Although, I would recommend that the book should be read.
I had heard conflicting reports about this film and, although not the genre I would normally plump for, I thought I would give it a try. This mission was made easier by the fact that my wife had hired it from the local library. I had patiently enjoyed the Notebook whose author, Nicholas Sparks, had also written the novel upon which this was based. Therefore I was willing to spurn the detractors and was quietly looking forward to it.
I had heard that the film takes time to get going....never has a truer word been spoken. The opening scene sees Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) hanging out at the end of a pier with her pals when one of her klutzy pals Randy accidentally knocks her handbag over the railing and in to the sea. All the while the scene is intercepted with shots of the solitary, brooding, square-jawed John (Channing Tatum)who witnesses the shenanigans. While Randy is running back on to the beach to wade in and retrieve the bag and his honour, John heroically plunges 20 feet from the pier to redeem his unknown damsel's belongings himself. And so begins the most tedious, unconvincing excuse for a relationship or a love story that has ever been committed to film.
Please stay in the shallow end
The film lurches towards inanity as Savannah and John plumb the shallows of their respective 'personalities'. As a reward for the handbag heroics John is invited back to a barbecue by Savannah which he declines opting instead for 'a beer for the walk home'. Now either he sips his beer real slow or their conversation and connection must have been so electric that he lost track of time, as by the time he leaves night has fallen. I am inclined to believe that he is a very slow drinker as there is nothing in their conversation that scratches a giggly
patronising veneer. John is in the special forces. That's all well and good but the experience clearly hasn't provided him with a personality. I makes me laugh how American movies expect the audience to be wowed by tags such as this. Suddenly characters are take on enhanced standing if they are a Green Beret, have a Harvard education, or are members of the CIA or FBI. I might have had more respect for John's character if he hadn't mentioned his involvement with the 'special forces' at the earliest opportunity. Although the Berets are not really on a par with the SAS, could you imagine one of the Special Air Service's recruits gabbing about their combat credentials to strangers at a barbecue? It would be instant court-marshalling!
Some things just don't fit. For instance John is introduced to Alan, a young autistic neighbour of Savannah's. She is gobsmacked when he speaks to John. 'He never usually speaks to anyone', she opines. Now it's not as though John has made much effort himself with the boy. Therefore, it must be a primal sense that John is a 'good guy' - much like you would trust your dog when he licks a stranger, rather than returning with his leg. Another scene shows the starry-eyed lovers gazing at the moon. Here John has some profound words 'No matter where the moon is in the sky, it is never bigger than your thumb'. Hardly Byron. I was tempted to try putting my thumb over something twinkly at this point, namely the 'off' button.
After more meetings in bars and restaurants I didn't really see the relationship progressing. It seemed to be the same vacuous, superficial talk. Bearing in mind that they had been together now for some time Savannah enquires 'What's that scar on your face?' 'Why all the questions?' he snaps.
'I'm just trying to get to know you', she counters. Who scripted this garbage? Does she not know he's a soldier in the Special Forces and he should be more bothered at the puerile nature, rather than the number, of questions.
Savannah is introduced to John's father, a fastidious numismatist, in one of the most patronising scenes I can remember for a very long time. Her feigned interest in his coin collection is admirable
in intent, but I really believe the director wants to think that it is genuine. Questions such as 'What's like your most favourite coin ever?' come across like products of the Paris Hilton school of sincerity. To me, Savannah's character at this point has become annoying beyond the point of no return. His father's overly obsessive fascination with his coins is clocked by Savannah, whose cod-psychological deduction lead to the films most exciting moment. At a beach party John is upset by Savannah's comparison of his father's behaviour with that of her autistic neighbour, Alan. This loads John's spring which is unleashed when one of Savannah's male pals tries to foolishly coerce him into stopping for a beer. Don't mess with a Green Beret, son!
To cut a long snorey (sic) short John seeks forgiveness from Savannah by writing her a note, something suggested by Alan's father, Tim, when he rocks up at her house to find her out. The pair kiss and make up before John is posted overseas but they make a pact to keep in regular touch by letter. Thus begins much heart-rending scribbling and reading of tender missives. They sure have a lot more to say in their letters than they ever did in person. John is shipped to unidentified war locations and is eagerly anticipating a return to Charleston and his beloved Savannah. Without revealing too much, there is a denouement in world affairs that causes him to extend his service.
However, John is allowed brief leave that sees him able to spend 18 hours in South Carolina with Savannah and his father.
News of his extension naturally dismays Savannah, but you can't help feeling that she is just one spoilt silly bitch. It is at this point that her face contorts into a rueful gurn, exacting grotesquely gargantuan furrows on her brow. This is one of the two stock expressions that she carries in her actorly arsenal.
It is during this brief stay that they take John's father shopping, something he can't do alone. The scene when they call for him had me in absolute stitches, although its clearly not intended to be funny. The camera is pointing directly at John's father, sitting in his easy chair in the living room. For all his years of special forces training John breezes into the house plumb behind him, and continues walking at a 90 degree angle into another room. He doesn't look round once or even call his name until he's been in the empty room a few seconds. It truly has to be seen to be believed. When you think of the SAS documentaries that typically show soldiers storming strange rooms in full darkness and picking out targets instantly, you have to worry about the American military when their finest can't even find their own father in their own house, in broad daylight!
Call of duty beckons and John is returned to the front and his reliance on Air Mail for correspondence. Needless to say conflicts and setbacks of both a military and emotional nature ensue, as well as a wonderfully selfless gesture that I feel is ill-deserved, but I can't divulge any further specifics so I will leave you to hang in suspenseful torment!
Oh dear, John
My biggest problem with this film is that the two main characters seem so dumb, dull and shallow that I couldn't care less what happens to them. The acting is atrocious and while I can imagine women, and particularly young girls, swooning at the sight of poster boy Channing Tatum then they can't possibly be enraptured by his wooden, monosyllabic character. Seyfried is no better; her good looks are offset by her annoying character. She actually manages to out-annoy Tatum with her fake ebullience and patronising demeanour. At one point when John delivers some particularly bad news her reaction is to clasp her hands to her nose as though she is going to effect the sneeze to end all sneezes. It is all so ridiculously incongruous that Harry Hill would have a field day mining material here for his TV Burp out-takes. Some themes are not explored fully, namely the autism angle is never really developed. I feel that the only convincing acting performance is given by Richard Jenkins, as John's father, which sadly speaks volumes about the film when you factor in the brevity of his appearances.
I was willing to give this film a try and approach it with an open mind. Despite having better things to do I persisted, alas, to no avail. To me not only does it start slowly, but also middles and ends slowly.
Please believe me, I am not trying to be facetious but this experience has taken away an hour and forty minutes of my life that I will never get back. Hopefully, I haven't endured it in vain as it may serve as a warning to prospective viewers out there. The film is definitely directed at women as evidenced by the blurb on the DVD cover. However, it was totally lost on my wife who had resorted to filming the dog on her mobile by the midway point. Quite how Company can give it five stars is beyond my comprehension. Other glowing endorsements from Glamour, Bliss and Sugar magazine bear out the probability that it is also aimed at the younger end of the market. Much of the music used seems to be very samey, a bit like third-rate Joni Mitchell on a downer. The BBFC give it a 12 certificate, with the rider 'Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over'. Maybe they can dispense with the last two words on this instruction!
John Tyree/ Channing Tatum
Savannah Curtis/ Amanda Seyfried
Mr Tyree/ Richard Jenkins
Tim/ Henry Thomas
Alan/ R. Braeden Reed
Noodles/ D.J Cotrona
Rooster/ Cullen Moss
Randy/ Scott Porter
Based on the Novel by
John is currently serving in the American army but has been given 2 weeks leave so he returns home. He is on the beach surfing when he meets Savannah. They meet by chance as her bag falls off the pier and into the sea and John dives in to retrieve it for her. They both instantly hit it off and John learns that Savannah is on her college break. As they start to spend time together their feelings grow and Savannah is soon meeting John's Dad. His Dad is a bit of a strange man who lives in his own world and by a specific routine but he warms to Savannah when she gets him talking about his coins.
Before long John has to return to the Army but they agree to stay in touch and wait for each other. As John goes back to Germany where he is to serve out his last year the letters start to arrive and the couple fall deeper in love with each other. The time for John to leave the Army to due but disaster strikes when a terrorist attack on America leaves him with the decision as to re-enlist or come out to be with Savannah.
Just what will John decide and what will the consequences be for him and Savannah and their future together?
I was really looking forward to watching this film as I read the book last year and thought it was a great story and very moving, unfortunately the film did not have the same effect. The story was good and a typical love story at the start but there was a lot of missing emotion from the lead characters. If I forget about the book and just concentrate on the film then it was enjoyable and had a good mix of romance and action scenes from John fighting the war but there was just something overall missing.
The acting was Ok but for me the role of John seemed quite wooden at times. He was played by Channing Tatum and he did an overall good job but he did seem more at ease when dressed in his uniform and portraying a soldier. There were a few times when he did relax with Savannah and get a few emotions out but for the majority of there scenes together I just felt it looked uneasy and strained. He did deliver most of his lines with ease but there were one or two when he was talking about his feelings which seemed uncomfortable and he did not look at all like he genuinely meant them. The role of Savannah was good and she did come across slightly better. She seemed at ease with the romance and the love side of the story and for me she was the better lead role. I enjoyed the niceness of her character and how genuine she was and I felt it was not overly played and she did have some faults which came to light.
We had a few good support role and the one which really stood out for me was that of John's Dad. He was played by Richard Jenkins and I thought he did a super job. I found the way he played the role was interesting as he lived by a routine and he lost it if anything changed or was different. The strained relationship between father and son was also played very well but think more so on the side of the Father. Other good actors in the film included, Henry Thomas, Cullen Moss and Keith Robinson. I think there was a good mix of normal everyday life character and the Army ones.
The film had a equal showing of both the beach and life at home for John and the other side of him being away fighting in the Army. The differences of the places was shown in a great way and I loved how we had the amazing beach and quiet town life to the slums and bombs in Afghanistan. The effects which were used in the second half of the film to show the soldiers fighting was very good and they were all believable. I asked hubby how realistic the places which were meant to be in Afghanistan were and he said it was a very good representation of the way of life and the sights you will see there.
The music was good but nothing special, I cannot actually recall a single track which was used but at the time of watching felt it all fitted well and there was a good variety of tracks used.
For those that have read the book written by Nicholas Sparks then I would advise watching the film with caution as it is no where near as good. The story follows the same path but there is so much missing, the small details which get described in the book are not in the film and it really is lacking in emotion. When reading the book I was reduced to tears but watching the film had nowhere near the same affect on me.
The DVD which I have does have a few bonus features which include:-
I have not watched any of these so I am not able to make comment on them.
The running time of the film is 103 minutes and I found this to be a good length. The rate is a 12 and I do agree with this as there are some scenes towards the second half of the film which may be upsetting for younger viewers. I paid a whopping £14.00 for my DVD and think it was a waste of money and would advise people waiting for the price to drop considerably.
I would love to be able to rate this film higher but I have to be honest and give it just 3 stars. I loved the story but found a lot of the acting was hard to watch and very wooden and there was so much emotion missing. I think anyone who loved the book should stay away from the film. This is a watch able film for those who like a good romance but it certainly is not one for the men as my hubby got up and left the room half way though as he got extremely bored with it.
After seeing the trailer for this film I really wanted to go see it at the cinema as I used to go most weeks with my sister. But at the time it was screening in the cinemas my sister's boyfriend of four years had just joined the army. She was going through an emotional rollercoaster at the time. Now she is married to him and lives on army accommodation and although still scared of what the future will bring she is feeling more positive. So we decided to buy it and on my recent visit to her we watched it. We had the tissues at the ready for what we thought would be an emotional film.
The film is about a solider John Tyree played by Channing Tatum and the girl Savannah Curtis (who is played by Amanda Seyfried who you may know from Mamma Mia in 2008) who he falls in love with on temporary leave back home in 2001. To begin with I found it hard to warm to John, he was portrayed as a hard character and there didn't seem to be enough chemistry between the pair. The weeks they are together they spend every day with each other getting to know one another. They are very different to one another but it seems to work and John starts to soften.
John's relationship with his father is somewhat difficult. I felt his father added more to the film then just the love story between the young pair. You always felt there was something more to his character and there were questions you wanted answering.
John is them sent on several missions over the world once back on duty and their only way of communication is by letters. John lives every day for those letters for the next two years. That is until a twist brings consequences neither of them could have imagined.
The film is an adaptation of a novel with the same title. I haven't read the book but would like to give it a go to see if the story is portrayed in a different way. Me and my sister were slightly disappointed with the film, the tissues stayed in their box as I found there was no need for them. That said the storyline was interesting and wasn't predictable. I thought I knew what had happened but it turned out I was completely wrong! The twist was good and left you thinking what next. The build up to the end was enticing but I was left slightly disappointed by the blunt end.
Overall it was an ok film maybe I had just hyped it up to much in my head but after seeing the trailer I believed it would be more then what it was. My sister felt the same and thought it had been a waste of £9 which she paid for it. I would say it may be worth a watch when you have nothing else but I would wait until the price comes down.
I had really hoped to go and see Dear John at the cinema, especially when my sister told me it had made her cry and I would love it! I do like romantic films and I cry at everything (I cried when Ellie the mammoth has a baby in Ice Age 3!!!) and so as no one would go to the cinema to see it I pre ordered it on play.com. It cost me £12.99 for the pre order and I think that is quite reasonable for a new release.
My dvd came with a cardboard outer casing which housed the standard looking dvd box. The picture and details on the cardboard case are identical to the dvd box and so I have to say whilst it is nice it is a little pointless!
The film is rated as a 12 and I think this is quite an appropriate rating and I would advise if you are likely to watch it with anyone younger than 12 to watch it yourself first to see if you think it is suitable.
Dear John is a love story basically. It follows a whirlwind romance between John and Savannah who meet whilst John is home on leave from the army. They fall completely in love but only have two weeks before John must return to the army and Savannah to college. They agree to write letters telling each other everything that is going on in their lives so that they will still feel as close as possible during the tough time apart.
John is due to return and sign off from the army after a year but in this time the attack on the twin towers occurs and the rest of his team sign up to an extended service and John feels he should too but is torn between his county and his love for Savannah. This puts a huge pressure on John and Savannah's relationship and we must see if they can endure the extra strains.
John in played by Channing Tatum and until this film I had paid no attention to him at all. What was I thinking?!? He is totally gorgeous and plays the love struck John very well in my opinion. Savannah is played by Amanda Seyfried and initially I have to say I didn't think that the pair was well suited but my opinion did change and there seemed to be a genuine chemistry comes across between the pair.
I really am a romantic at heart and I really enjoyed seeing the love story unfold on screen. It is passionate and intense and I only wish someone looked at me the way John looks at Savannah (in fact if either Robert Pattinson or Channing Tatum could that would be GREAT!). I think throughout the story, no matter what happens, you can see that the love between John and Savannah is very real and something that will stay with them forever.
Whilst I really enjoyed watching the love story develop on the screen I have to say one of the most touching scenes in the film is between John and his autistic father. It was only because of Savannah that John realised his Dad was autistic and he admitted it reluctantly. The scene in question is very emotional and I won't spoil it for you, but I managed to hold back the tears!
Dear John is from the best selling author of The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks, and so I think if you like The Notebook you will enjoy this one too. I think the author does a great job of portraying beautiful love stories which are not without difficulties but that we always want to be involved in as the love seems so intense and like there is a real need to be with that other person. There is a lovely scene in the rain with John and Savannah which I feel represents this feeling totally and I think any girl would be mad not to want to be Savannah during that scene!
The feature runs for around 103 minutes and the disc features various special features including an alternate ending, deleted and alternate scenes, outtakes and the trailer for the film. The alternate ending in my opinion was best left as an alternate ending! I did enjoy the deleted scenes and outtakes though as it gives you a little more insight into the story. There is a particularly funny outtake too where Channing Tatum falls out of the cat which really made me giggle!
I would certainly recommend this film to people and would say if you like romance you will enjoy this one! Five out of five stars from me!
Thank you for reading my review.
Box Office Release Date: April 2010
Please note: below is a fictitious letter, not one of the actual 150 letters posted back and forth from John and Savannah in 'Dear John.'
My love for you eats up my own existence, every breathe I take fills my lungs with love for you John; you are my love, my life. Wishing you were beside me eating Satsuma's in the sun; (with seeds) where we both met each other that fateful day. That same day, when you rescued my prized possession 'my bag' from the dark waters of the ocean, I'm writing this to broadcast to you, John, my glorious love, you are a permanent occupancy in my heart; until that wondrous day when our hearts will beat as one for a whole life-time of embraces. I yearn, and wait for your reciprocated pen strokes expressing how much more you want me in your strong arms.Yours forever, heaving breathed, sitting by the front gate in freezing weather at six in the morning waiting for the Postman, Much Love to you my darling, so much love, kisses to eternity. Savannah.
- - - - - -
Now times that by one hundred and fifty and you kind of know why John has chosen his plight by being overseas on duty. The film is a rally cry to the morbidly romantic types who get grossly unhealthily involved with the romantic genre, by wailing at the entity of a 42 inch screen, and see it as entertainment. It certainly isn't entertainment, point-blank. Morbidly romantic followers see the screen as more humanistic than in real-life; who've laughed at their air-brained ways and dropped men as if they're a piece of faeces. I see it as a 'nurture club,' whereby, these types collaborate together; they wade through the heart wrenching screen analogy misery, with deep emotional threads; flitting between fiction and their own version of reality. Their notions distorted and unreal, with head rocking 'Diva styled' emotional levels that baffles the sane. The fabulous thing is: Nicholas Sparks, writer of the film, 'Dear John;' is collecting the accolades. And he isn't even a romantic! Hollywood has already engraved a Nicholas Sparks Golden Globe cheesy smile, on the 'Letter Y' of Hollywood. 'Y' is for 'Yuk!'
Plot, if you haven't already guessed, reeks of a cheese factory explosion
John Tyree played by - Channing Tatum: has enlisted to US Special Forces; his role of a soldier inflicts pain close to him during a 2001 spring vacation. Naturally John has a torrid and difficult relationship with his autistic Pa, played by - Richard Jenkins, Pa buries himself in vintage coin paraphernalia, to an abnormal level within his lifestyle. Escapism and neuroticism cajoled to cope with life's challenges. A love story that entwines relationships and destiny, fate and hardships; all based on one moment during a spring break - a snippet of the future - destined to open doors and the heart-strings.
Carefree days lounging out by the beech, catching rays and the surf . John is distracted by an impressionable gathering of 'kidults' loitering by him on the Pier. Suddenly a foray of activity awakens him as one of the lads knocks a handbag into the water below. Whoever, gets to the handbag first will obviously get unmeasured affection by Savannah played by - Amanda Seyfried; for the rest of the spring vacation? John being of robust stature, brave US soldier jumps in like Tom Daly (Great British diver) except with a bigger splash, in his bid to rescue the bag from the darkness of the sea ; with ease he got the bag without even getting his hair wet. Meanwhile the other lad, who also made a feeble pledge to get the bag, was at the waters edge dipping his toe checking the temperature. John made quite an entrance into the life of Savannah whose bag created rather a commotion among the pilgrims. Like a grateful 'damsel in distress' - Savannah is enamored with John's politeness, heroism, and she rewards him with a period of mild flirting and coyness at Savannah's beech house, abundant with party festivities.
Yes, you've guessed it; the two became inseparable during the rest of John's vacation before the obvious return to duty saga hits the smitten duo hard, like a 'Vanessa Feltz belly-flop.' John's next 'leave of duty date' is 365 days time. Unless Savannah grew some balls pretty quick and did six months training in several hours it looks as if their love will have to be put on hold, and get friendly with the good old fashioned 'snail mail' and 'pen.' Hence, the title: 'Dear John.'
Nicholas Sparks seems to have a nesting fascination with 'building houses' in his stories. 'The Notebook' has a doting 'Ryan Gosling' building for love; low and behold so does 'Dear John' in a slightly more detached manner; but alas still painfully bland and predictable. Savannah's meaning well approach to doing 'housing' projects for just causes is endearing, although, I've seen it all before, and at that point, I wrote a note on my notepad. 'Time for a coldie from the fridge me thinks.' I was counting clichés like sheep jumping over fences while trying to get some 'shut eye.' Evidently, during this time late 2001 the world was witnessing a tobacco chewing Texan in 'The Whitehouse,' doing a Tommy Lee Jones impression (The Fugitive) "We'll hunt down the terrorist dogs hiding in caves and dog kennels."
In late 2001 after the New York attacks John Tyree's call of duty was never stronger. Savannah's aching hand due to writing every daydream thought of 'love' for her John was playing apart in her little mind of college and small town thoughts. The time apart surely has taken its toll - It certainly had on me. One hundred and four minutes of predictable torment that inevitably will provoke a conversation thereafter the final outcome, as decided by Nicholas Spark's quill.
Just like a fruit corner no pain no gain - except there was absolutely no gain - and definitely not again!
To prolong the agony, I searched for evidence of Lasse Hallström's in-put. The man behind 'Chocolat' and 'Cassanova,' if, you've had any re-collection of these movies, the penny will drop when it comes to being totally at his 'puppet master's charms; that being Nicholas Sparks; writer of 'fictional' love analogies doused with some kind of imperfection abnormality, in this case; John's Pa's autism. This was the most believable section of the storyline, not because of the forced the 'dead Dodo' chemistry between John and Savannah, which failed, for reasons that'll not bug me, to be honest; but Richard Jenkin's who'd played John's Pa engineered a decent performance out of actor Channing Tatum. A half thumb up on that count. I wrote a note stating: 'Dustin Hoffman doesn't do weepy, now I know why?'
Savannah, overall was either over indulged with too many late nights in the trailer, playing Cluedo to make massive in-roads as a formidable actress on this outing. Unconvincing and probably lacked real-life experience, although she was playing a college 'kidult,' trying to find her way in life; maybe Lasse Hallström didn't trust her acting capabilities in approaching risqué content in regards to attitude; that'll nevertheless be more the case even from a conservative young adult tasting real love and frenzied hormones in 2001. Nicholas Sparks opted for an Ingrid Bergman styled actress - quite a hard act to follow for a youthful twenty five year old Amanda Seyfried. I wouldn't expect anything less from Sparks; however, Hallström's lack of 'Directorship' proves far too obvious to the amateurish film critic eye.
Critics for years have made a basic fundamental fault with calling Nicholas Sparks a 'romanticist' - he is certainly not. He is a fictional writer who chooses to embrace 'love' content. The reason that Sparks chooses 'love' content to engineer an analogy is because there are big bucks in it; guaranteed. Sparks is actually more of an 'opportunist' than a credible authoritarian on the subject of emotions. He must be laughing all the way to the bank, if he not tripping over his American smile, that is. Sadly I viewed 'Dear John', now I'm seeking therapy; it was not under the term of entertainment but through an eye of a critic and 'no' I didn't pay for the honour. Nor advise any credible sane individual to watch it who would like to remain so.
From now on ignore Nicholas Sparks and don't get drawn in thinking the next film will be better. It won't be. Eventually he'll get the message and ride off on a black horse into the fading orange sunset with his tail between his legs and a disgustingly huge wad of cash all ready to build his dream home. He's living the 'American Dream.'
Not in my living room he's not. Not anymore anyhow.
Dear John - DVD review
This DVD & Blu-Ray release date for this film was 23rd August 2010.
This film has been showing in cinemas all over the country however, I didn't get chance to see it because my friends were always interested in some other film showing at the time. When I saw it on DVD in my local video shop for £2.75 rental, I thought cheaper than the cinema ticket. So here I am reviewing the film to see if I had my £2.75's worth of entertainment.
It is available at Amazon, HMV & pretty much everywhere that sells DVDs for £11.99 - Tesco were a little more at £13.49.
Momentum Picture Home Entertainment
Director - Lasse Hallstrom
Screen Writer - Jamie Linden
Adapted from Nicholas Spark's novel
Running Time - 104 mins
Language - English
Genre - Drama (a love story type of drama)
Region 2 - so may not be viewable out side Europe
Aspect Ratio - 16.9 - 1.78:1 - I do like to view in 16.9 on my LG because it gives a crispier, undistorted view.
I will give some further info on the main actors and some of their other films because I do like to see how diverse an actor can be or do they tend to lean towards the same type of role. However, I am not going to list the whole cast as I don't feel it's necessary and completely relevant to reviewing the film itself.
***Channing Tatum*** - plays the character of John Tyree - a soldier on leave who falls in love with a very quite and hard working college student.
Previous roles have included Tyler Gage in Step Up 1 & 2 - which saw him as a loyal and supportive friend who shows empathy beyond duty - hmm, feeling a bit of type-casting here.
However, his role in GI Joe - The rise of the Cobra -as Captain Duke Hauser - sees him more of an action hero saving the day. Quite a different role.
He has also starred in She's the Man - however, I haven't seen this but have read mixed reviews on this one.
***Amanda Tatum*** - plays the character of Savannah Curtis - the fore mentioned conservation college student.
Previous roles have been too many to mention - her more recent films have included Letters from Juliet (a modern take on a version of Romeo & Juliet) which I did enjoy and loved so was keen to see the similarities here.
She has also starred in Chloe and Boogie Woogie - both films being of completely different roles as she is portrayed as a call girl, seducer and lesbian lover in one and gallery street wise women in the other.
*** Other Key Players ***
Richard Jenkins as Mr Tyree - I did love his roles in Burn After Reading, Cheaper by the Dozen and if you can remember the series Ally McBeal.
Henry Thomas as - Tim Wheddon - has often taken parts in a horror type genre of film or investigative matter such as CSI & Without A Trace. However, I do remember him (vaguely) in the classic Gangs of New York.
There are many other famous faces and very talented actors in this movie however you know my feelings on record information that takes up precious writing time on listing something you can go look up yourself.
~~~ So why this film and not some other loving dovey looking drama~~~
A few reasons here - It was my turn to host the monthly girlie night in so - yeah my choice of films. Since I had been subjected to a nasty horror last month that I hated with a passion - I decided a lighter drama was needed.
This film did have some good trailer footage for the cinema release that caught my eye - one in particular was the relationships between the characters. There seemed to be a raw emotion of pain that a separation of duty brings to a couple and their family.
Having a daughter ( who is very similar in looks to Seyfried - slim, tiny and very long blonde hair) who went through these emotions when her chap (a lot taller at 6 foot 10" than our Mr Tatum) was ;- first shipped out to Iraq for a tour of duty and then after only 6 months back being sent to Canada for nearly a year - On his return he had admitted that leaving her for the airport he had broken down in tears just like our hero in this film. I could relate to the feeling of depression that this type of separation brings, as I had seen and experienced it first hand..
I was also interested in the take this film would bring as it is set in the wake of the 11th September terrorist attacks.
Oh and the soundtrack sounded pretty fitting and emotional too. Any-one for a good cry then????!!!!
So bottles of wine and tissues at the ready the play button was hit - I did secretly have a bet on who of us girlies would be the first to reach for the tissues because I'm usually the one stretching for the wine first.
I would like to include the same spoiler warning as I did for my Robin Hood review basically because it will be helpful for those who haven't seen the film yet and want to.
I quote "During this review I will be talking about the film and parts of the characters roles with the odd quote, however, I won't give too much of the plot away. So you should be able to get good information and personal opinion about the movie."
~~~ Opening scenes~~~
A dramatic soundtrack opens our story with the scenes of a young soldier being shot and pulled up by his comrades. As he lies there we hear him reading a letter about his mind taking him back to when he was 8years old and gold coins. This first thought is followed by his last as he blacks out. We are then transported through his memories to a beautiful sunny beach scene and his first sightings of Savannah and how he comes to her rescue.
The underwater shots here are clear and blue with a dreamy effect as he rises to the surface of the blue ocean.
The chemistry between the leading actors as they first meet are intense and this is caught well by the camera through their eye-contact.
It's Spring 2001.
That evening by a beach bonfire our hero John tells her "Its doesn't matter where you are in the world - It's (he's referring to the moon) is never bigger than your thumb". This sets a thread that runs throughout the couples relationship and film.
Walking home alone John is offered a lift by Tim and his young autistic son. Tim is Savannah's friend who he had met briefly at the beach earlier. An interesting conversation is held between the men and a sense that they will become friends is felt.
On meeting john's father, played by Richard Jenkins, we see the relationship is polite although strained, as if something is stopping them being close. I couldn't put my finger on it but was struck by the obsessive nature Jenkin's role had.
The following day on their first date at a beach bar - we are given an insight to possible trouble ahead. However, this is soon pushed aside to the intensive eye contact that continues to develop the strength between John and Savannah.
When Savannah insists on meeting John's father the recognition of autism in Mr Tyree causes John to be slightly embarrassed but she warms to the old man instantly. The building harmony as they part flows into the following day as we see our couple back at the beach. This day show us the true extent of Savannah's loving and beautiful nature. I couldn't help feel that she couldn't be 'taken for a ride' because of this.
The colours and tones of the scenery really enhanced the conversations between characters especially when she says
"You don't scare he John" to which he relies
"Well you scare me"
The following scene becomes very passionate and is intensified by the acoustic soundtrack. This track takes us through the following few days of the couples relationship. I loved the effect from one snippet of these scenes where Savannah is playing a guitar and echos the lyrics being played.
The mood changes slightly as we return to the beach and the couple discussing the impending separation. His promises seem heartfelt and I was left wondering is they would be kept.
~~~ The Plot continues~~~
Friction between the couple and their first disagreement follows as Savannah's gives the correct naming to John on his father's condition.
The first letter is written by our leading man the following day and handy to Tim.
As the couple's relationship continues through the sharing of letters whilst we share the drama's of John's tour of duty. His letters re-assure her of his commitment to keep his promised to her. The honesty and feelings within the letters from bothe characters are reflective of their love but also carry practical thoughts.
Their relationship seems to grow and with letter 33 we are reminded of the line about the moon.
Savannah's relationship with John's father is beautiful and supportive with her patience and love gets him opening up about his coins and an interesting sub-plot emerges that majorly impacts the ending of the film. We are also given a detailed insight into John's relationship with his father as a child and the meaning behind the coin collection.
However, the memory is abruptly interrupted by the devastating news and film footage of the Twin Towers attack. This has a dramatic effect on our leading characters.
I'm going to draw this review to a conclusion as I don't want to give too much away as to what happens in the following section of the film.
What I will say is that the continuing scenes take on several twists and turn that I didn't expect . It also showed some intense scenes, that John's tour of duty hits the viewer with the realization that our soldiers (and other nation's troops) are constantly living with a cloud of death hanging over them.
~~~ Did I find myself thinking about variations in actor's roles from previous work? ~~~
*** Channing Tatum -similarities / variations in other roles - yes very much so - his role took on many of the troubles and emotions that a soldier experiences. He gave his character a vulnerability that some men wouldn't dare to show in case the weakness by mocked.
*** Amanda Seyfried - The softness and emotional role she brought to Savannah's character was enhanced by her body language and facial expressions. Sometimes I thought her naivety was a little to sweet but then her character's upbringing could possible be reflective of this quality. 9/10.
Richard Jenkins plays an outstanding role as an austic man, highlighting the difficulties' and features this condition brings. His role in this movies is completely different to those he has played before and I was really impressed with the sensitivity in which he acted. A 9/10 from me Mr Jenkins.
I enjoyed the constant linking between the story and the sensitivity that was shown through the great acting.
Scenery - beautifully / hard hitting and certainly captured the story line through colours and tones.
A good combination of directing and acting. In particular the vulnerability yet emotional support of the leading characters for each others duty and desires was very well played out.
The soundtrack extremely well composed and reflective of the emotions being played during the movie.
I would recommend this film for people who just want to see a non-action, horror drama. It definitely one for the girls having a chill night in - however, I do think some guys would enjoy a lot of aspects to it - although they might not like to admit that infront of their mates.
All things considered I would give this film a 4 stars just based on the actors performances, stunning scenery and delivery of some emotional charged lines.
I hope you have enjoyed the review and found the detail interesting.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the information and personal opinions.
X hev (on dooyoo and ciao)
I had wanted to see this since it came out at the cinema. However, I hardly ever get round to seeing them at the cinema so I added it to my online DVD rental list instead. I was very happy when it got here last week and was keen to sit down and watch it. Although I did watch this on DVD, this is a film only review as I never bother with any extras.
John is a soldier and is currently at home on leave. He is visiting his father and to be honest he is finding it quite difficult as his poor father seems to be getting stranger by the day. One day whilst John is surfing on the beach he meets a girl named Savannah. The two are immediately attracted to one another and they spend the entire evening together.
The pair spend the most brilliant two weeks with one another and they are both upset when John has to return to the army and Savannah has to return to school. They agree to keep in contact, knowing their love is so strong it should not be thrown away. They write to each other consistently but it is easy to see that both of them are struggling with the long distance relationship. Will the pair be able to get through this or will the distance prove to be too much?
I loved this film from the start. I immediately fell in love with both John and Savannah as they both seemed like such realistic characters who genuinely really cared for one another. I was so keen for their love to continue and the feelings they held for one another were really heartwarming.
The plot flowed really well. The film follows both John and Savannahs lives but I think that it focuses slightly more upon John's but this could be because there was simply more going on in his life at the time. There was always something going on in the film and because of John's line of work there was always some action which meant there was plenty for me to focus upon.
Although John works in the army, the film is not centred around his life in the army, instead it is focussed around his love for Savannah. Therefore, this film may be more suited to women than men. However, saying that I watched this with my partner and he loved it as much as I did even going so far as to say he was going to watch it again.
The acting in the film is brilliant, the two main cast members had a real spark between them making me forget I was watching a film and instead making me feel like I was looking in on their lives.
The ending of the film is the only thing I didn't like. Although a few loose ends were tied up, there was one question which was not answered. Although a suggestion was made, there are two possibilities that this could have meant which meant I was left pondering what actually happened.
Nevertheless, this is an absolutely superb film and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to all.
The film was released in UK cinemas in April 2010 and has just been released on DVD.
It stars Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried.
It is rated a 12 and runs for 108 minutes.
'Dear John' is based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook) and is directed by Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat).
When I saw this trailer for this film, I thought it looked good, but would I will be willing to part with £7.50 to see it...? So I gave it a miss, and decided to rent it instead. Verdict... I would have paid the £7.50!
The film stars Channing Tatum (Step Up, G.I Joe) who plays John Tyree, who after a rebellious stage during his younger years, decided to join the U.S Army.
Whilst home on leave he meets Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) who is home from university for the summer and (shockingly) they fall in love! When John has to return to duty, they vow to stay together and keep in touch by writing letters. However, things drastically change when the tragedy of 9/11 occurs and John assigns himself to go and fight to defend his country.
Can their relationship survive?
This isn't just your typical love story. Another central focus of the story is on John's strained relationship with his father (Richard Jenkins). If anything, I found this aspect of the film much more emotional. Watching their very fragile relationship made the film much more realistic in my opinion.
I don't tend to cry at films really (I made it through the Notebook just fine, and then feel heartless whenever someone says they cried). However I did cry at the film Haachi and I have since found out that Lasse Hallstom directed both Haachi and Dear John.
Channing Tatum plays his character 'John Tyree' very well, and pulls off playing a Soldier in the film. Amanda Seyfried is good, although I did find her acting quite one dimensional at times. Richard Jenkins plays the role of John's father effortlessly (all is not what it seems regarding John's father).
If you're looking for a heartfelt emotional film, then this is certainly worth watching. Yes there are moments that are a little cheesy, but on the whole I was very impressed.
***Who is Nicholas Sparks***
Dear John was originally a book made into a film. The author of this book is Nicholas Sparks, also the author of in my opinion some of the most romantic films of all time - The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, A Message in a Bottle and Nights in Rodanthe. Nicholas Sparks has been compared to J.K. Rowling for the length of time his books have been bestsellers for, for example, in the New York Times. Additionally the films have been majorly well known and loved from his books.
After having read the book of the Notebook and loving the film, when I saw Dear John advertised and hearing that the book was also written by Nicholas Sparks I was so excited to see it at the cinema. Me being very sad I was there ready in my booked cinema seat on the very first night it was shown.
The actors and actresses shown in the advertisement for Dear John also made me very excited.
***Who is starred in Dear John***
***Channing Tatum***.... known for his roles in Step Up, Step Up 2, She's the Man, Fighting and many other films. Channing Tatum is extremely good looking and I've watched him do romantic scenes before and he always makes me weak at the knees... which made me very sad to find out that he is now married to Jenna Dewan who he starred with in Step Up.... my dreams of me ever marrying him are now unfortunately shattered. So knowing he would be in Dear John was a definite advantage to the film before I had even seen it. Channing Tatum plays the main male role, John Tyree. A young guy who lives at home with his father who is quite difficult to live with who shows some facets of mild autism. John is in the Armed Forces constantly away on missions. It seems to the audience that John has never been in love before or had many good friends, he enjoys his own company (which is probably something to do with him perhaps being in the Armed Forces) and he has a love for surfing. But it is apparent that John has had a difficult background with an aggressive side to him, but it is unknown throughout why this is completely but perhaps due to his mother figure being absent.
***Amanda Seyfried***...known for her roles in an extensive number of films including small parts she started off playing in such as, Mean Girls, to being the main characters in other films such as, Mamma Mia, Chloe and Letters of Juliet. Amanda is a stunning girl perfect for young romantic scenes. From Mamma Mia she sang quite a lot and has started to do occasional singing in other films. In Dear John she sings the most played song which is integrated into one of the most romantic scenes in the film. Amanda plays the main female role in Dear John, Savannah Curtis, a young girl from a well off family, but who has an array of friends and a couple of admirers who she is not interested in. She is a warm and gentle girl who cares about others. When she is on vacation from school she spends a lot of time at the beach which is where she meets John for the first time.
Savannah meets John for the first time when she is with her friends on the pier over the beach. She accidently drops her bag into the water and John dives into the sea to get it for her. Savannah has another guy on the scene who is just a friend to her but it is obvious he wants more. He is amongst Savannah's friends on the pier that day and he attempts to run down the pier and onto the beach to also save Savannah's bag. Obviously John had dived in so was the quickest to grab the bag in the water. Savannah thanked John and this other guy felt crushed that he didn't get the bag for her. Savannah offered John to come to a BBQ at her house to thank him. From then onwards they struck up a close friendship and are with each other virtually every day.
John teaches Savannah to surf. Savannah shows John a community project that is going on and they help out together. Savannah is introduced to John's father who is has a huge coin collection. It is his hobby to collect coins like mules. It was a hobby that John and his father shared together when John was younger. Then it became a bit of an obsession for his father spending too much money on coins when money should have been spent on more important things. So John eventually stopped encouraging his dad to collect them. However Savannah shows interest in his dad's coin collection and becomes closer to John's father than John ever imagined.
Another large part to the movie is a man called Tim who has an autistic son. Savannah knows Tim and his son very well (Tim's wife seems to have disappeared and never returns to see her son). But this part to the movie I won't say anymore about... I don't want to give anything away.
The time then comes when John has to go on dangerous missions. John and Savannah write to each other as often as they can...which is where the title 'Dear John' comes from. John can never tell Savannah where he is in the world but he lets her know he is safe. John told Savannah his mission was only a year long. But then once this year is up he is asked to partake in a further mission after September 11th attacks. John goes home for a few days and meets Savannah's parents but has to pluck up the courage to tell Savannah this. Savannah is very upset over this but she thinks they will be able to make it work. They continue to write to one another until... Well I can't give anymore away unfortunately but some mishaps occur to make John's life turn upside down.
Hopefully I haven't given too much away, I feel like I have given a good history about John and Savannah but I haven't told you about the key pointers which make the film very interesting yet upsetting and heartbreaking at the same time.
I actually rented the DVD too despite seeing it at the cinema. I wanted my mum to see it as well. On the DVD with the bonus features it shows an alternative ending to the film which they came up with. But all I can say is that I am glad with the ending they chose, it fitted far better than the alternative ending.
I have also read the book which evokes just as many emotions as the film, but as most books and films go there were a few minor differences between the two.
***Why I loved this film so much***
Both Channing Tatum (John) and Amanda Seyfried (Savannah) work perfectly together in this film. They are both very attractive people yet in a natural and relaxed way. In real life Channing is 30 years old and Amanda is 24 years old. This age difference seems to make them work really well together. I believe this is because females tend to mature earlier than males (although not all males will admit to this :) so it seems within the film that the pair of them are of a similar age despite John being in the Armed Forces and Savannah being at school.
An aspect of Channing's personality as John which my mum picked up on is that he seems a little bit slow in the film as if he doesn't always catch on to what people say or he is slow in responding. I agreed with my mum's perception of this. But I think this shows what an amazing actor Channing is because throughout the film you see that John has a problem opening up to people. Plus being in the Armed Forces he has this more serious and slightly aggressive side to him. Occasionally throughout the film you see this aggressive side but Savannah manages to allow him to open up and sort of changes him slightly to realise that the aggressiveness is not required. I suppose for John it is also about having a female figure in his life which he lacked growing up without his mother.
There are scenes in this film which I have watched over and over again which I really should not admit to but they are so romantic. If you have seen The Notebook you will probably know the scene I mean when I say on the river when it is raining when they are surrounded by swans. Similarly in Pearl Harbour the parachute scene after the couple have flown in the plane. These are well known romantic scenes in films and I am so pleased that in Dear John the film makers have also brought out these very memorable romantic scenes.
***What emotions were evoked through out***
Well I first of all fell head over heels for Channing Tatum in this film due to his personality and of course looks. So being a girl I just wanted to be with him throughout the whole film and thereafter. One of the main emotions I experienced throughout this film was envy of the relationship between John and Savannah as well as upset and sadness in some distressing mishaps that the pair of them experience. When I watched it for the second time with my mum I still ended up in tears and as I looked at her at the end of the film she just burst into tears all over again. So I think that definitely shows how emotion provoking this film was. I'm sure all the men out there who are reading this are thinking how sad, crying at a film that is fiction but girls who love chick flicks can't explain why this is, it happens to girls in relationships and who are single. But this expresses how the author has captured the emotions of the reader since the book is just as emotional. Complete credit to Nicholas Sparks (the author).
A different take on the film that I love is like I said earlier that Amanda Seyfried sings in the film with her guitar. This becomes the most memorable song in the film and I have been singing it ever since I watched it. Amanda is a really beautiful singer, very natural and easy. This adds that once more romantic element to the film as John watches her sing one night.
I have just read two other books by Nicholas Sparks and I am amazed at how a male writer can understand females so well. If you are a fan of The Notebook or of any other chick flicks I am sure you will love this film and all of Nicholas Sparks' other books. And guys reading this if you want to please your wife or girlfriend or a female figure in your life buy this for them and I am sure they will appreciate your kind gesture. Plus another of Nicholas Sparks' novels has just recently been made into a film - The Last Song, with Miley Cyrus playing a lead character with some new music from her. To find out more about Nicholas Sparks and his novels and films go to: http://www.nicholassparks.com/
***Would I recommend this film?***
I think you know the answer to that. It is a fantastically well written novel which has consequently allowed a very real and emotional film to be produced from it. The contrast between the war scenes of John fighting is very well contrasted with the beautiful beach scenes. Nicholas Sparks is truly spectacular for the way he writes his novels and I cannot wait for the day that more of his novels get made into films.
Go on treat yourself to renting or buying this... perfect for those rainy horrible days we seem to be having in our Summer!!